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Michael Berkeley awarded life peerage

- 27 February 2013

Michael Berkeley was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s 2012 birthday honours list

Composer Michael Berkeley has been awarded a life peerage. He will serve in the House of Lords as a cross-bench, non-party political peer.

He said he was ‘very honoured to be appointed’ and ‘particularly pleased that the appointments commission was keen to increase representation in the field of music and the arts.’

Berkeley was awarded the CBE in 2012 for services to music (right) and has presented Radio 3’s Private Passions for more than 15 years.

Berkeley studied composition with Sir Richard Rodney Bennett and has been commissioned by many orchestras and music groups including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (as its associate composer from 1979), the London Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (where he was composer in association), Nash Ensemble and New York Philharmusica.

Chamber group the Berkeley Ensemble takes its name from him and his father, Sir Lennox.

From 1995 to 2005 he directed the Cheltenham International Festival of Music.

‘Michael is not only an accomplished composer but also an expert communicator, not least reflected in his ability to have engaging and insightful conversations with his guests,’ said Radio 3 controller Roger Wright. ‘This recognition of his place in our society is hugely deserved.’

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